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Thread: shadows

  1. #711
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    Originally Posted by reinventmyself
    You sound very vulnerable and having to adjust to where exactly you fit in her life. This is all new territory for you. Dating a mother of a young child is challenging.
    No matter how you slice it , if she's a good mother her child comes first. You wouldn't want it any other way. But how does that play out for you?
    Time will tell. The fact that the challenging issues seem to be taken off the table is somewhat a red flag though.
    No wonder you seem unsettled. It's the proverbial elephant in the room. Again, time will tell.

    I will share with you that in the past I've had these challenging relationships. Not saying they weren't good or they weren't worth the struggle.
    But there is something to be said to find yourself with someone where (most) everything is easy. . and it just makes sense.
    They are however, few and far between.
    In the meantime . . . .
    thanks for such a thoughtful reply. you've sniffed out my vulnerability. and there is definitely some wondering in terms of where i fit in..

    challenges.

    funny what you say about ease though. there is so much ease in our interactions. when we're actually together.

    i'm oscillating between just giving it time...and letting it go. it's a strange place to be. asked for a bit of space this week. she's off enjoying some old connections...so it feels like a good time for me to process a bit.

    will be searching for some quiet places to feel it all out... Getting Ready for a First Date

  2. #712
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    shift...

    feel it. know it. heart it.
    feel it. know it. heart it.

    shift...

    start again...

    there's a tree. it looks like one of those trees of life that the earth muffins are always on about. it's the tree that yoga teacher talks about up in the loft...in the heart of gentrification...with leg warmers and lulu lemons...and $5 coffees...deep in the house that privilege built.

    maybe it's my house too. privilege.

    gratitude...

    shift...

    the tree...there's a taproot. it's thirsty for...nourishment. the ground is fertile. the earth...she gives. freely. willingly. that's one of the roots. love freely given. love received...another...

    shift...

    self-acceptance. what does it mean? where does it come from? what makes this form of acceptance possible for us? choice? time? gratitude? love?

    there are branches also. a magnificent crown. drawing energy from the sun...the cosmos maybe. self-acceptance...

    autonomy is a branch...

    emotional competence...

    gratitude...

    love...

    creativity...

    intuition. oh...
    yes...and...
    subtle guidance on this journey. recognition. intuition. more than...a feeling. a knowing...without knowing.

    yes. intuition.

    i'm not sure what kind of tree it is. can't decide if it's coniferous...or deciduous. it's in my head though...so maybe it's both. maybe it's tropical...and boreal. maybe it's capable of thriving in so many different environments.

    what else?

    shift...

    health. the gut. that old second brain. balance.

    homeostasis. equilibrium.
    stress comes. stress goes. the body regains its equilibrium.

    ease. flow.

    emotional competence. pain. anger. frustration. adequate avenues. a process. an expression.

    homeostasis.

    sleep. rest. regeneration. dreams. energy..

    energy...

    there's joy. joy in others. true compassion. a conspicuous absence of judgment. recognition.

    shift.

    recognize...

    feel...


    imbalance is normal. and necessary. prolonged imbalance is a manifestation of threat. it's stress. this kind of imbalance...it stifles the organism.


    self-awareness...
    autonomy...
    intuition...
    emotional competence...
    creativity...
    physical health...
    love...


    here...
    right here...

  3. #713
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    i like "shift"

  4. #714
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    ^^

    ''I am viscerally turned off by men who want to limit my options as a way of assuring theirs.''

    just noticed that...
    how many times did you have to ignore your gut to learn that little nugget of wisdom?

  5.  

  6. #715
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    what IS self-acceptance?
    i mean...what is it, really...

    and how does a person get there? it feels a bit like happiness. it's not something one finds. more something one learns to recognize as being accessible at all times. not that it's all-pervasive. just that it's accessible when we need it to be.

    i'm exceptionally skilled at convincing myself of self-acceptance. perhaps in a way where i reframe things with a positive spin. or minimize the things that don't feel so good. not universally true. i'm also great at sinking into the things that don't feel good. the real ''traumas'' of life. the times when i've felt broken. and those periods have been marked by intense periods of catharsis. could be those were moments where i had no way to escape the feelings, so i was able to just be, and accept.

    although, in periods of relative non-crisis -- as i'm currently experiencing -- my old habits are a little easier to allow. minimizing negative emotions. i've noticed lately that despite my real aversion to the idea of business and an almost constant plea to others to be less busy, i've been operating in a state of almost constant business for years. i think it has to do with justifying some of my bad habits. being lazy sometimes (with little acceptance)...wasting time (when i'm honest with myself, i often feel like i could be spending my time in ''better'' ways)...not being ambitious enough. and i'm minimizing how that makes me feel...pawning it off as being less distract-able. maybe why i'm so hungry to judge people that can't sit still! part of me feels guilty and/or anxious when i'm not being productive. and i judge myself for that.

    i'm becoming really curious about this.

    i sat vipassana some years ago. and i've been coming back to it recently. and i've been becoming more aware of an almost constant feeling of anxiety. long i've suspected that i live with a degree of anxiety -- ''low-level anxiety'' i've always called it. and i've attributed a specific sleep disturbance to this anxiety. my REM sleep is disturbed. i often experience this stage of sleep without the normal atonia...or paralysis (that is, frequent episodes of ''acting out'' dreams. leaving the bed. performing complex tasks...etc). interesting. this particular ''disorder'' is actually a precursor for parkinson's disease (neurodegenerative). and it's often ''treated'' with a certain benzodiazapine (clonazepam). something to do with cell receptors (i'd like to learn more about the science behind this). interesting that benzos are often used as ''treatment'' for panic disorders. so, what do i have in common with people who experience panic?

    oh...the rabbit hole...

    my sleep is intriguing me lately. no coincidence that i've also been exploring this notion of self-acceptance with a lot more honesty. it's all related, of that i feel a lot of certainty. sleep hygiene is one thing, but even when i have a lot of structure there, i still have these disturbances. there's always been a missing link.

    it has a lot to do with anxiety...maybe entirely to do with anxiety. and what anxiety represents.

    i keep seeing the tree. the tree with the taproot. self-acceptance.

    i come from a long line of anxious people. perfectionist tendencies. depressions. social anxieties. repression of negative emotion. inability to express other emotions. useful to see these patterns in those that i learned from...and how i've adopted certain behaviours and coping strategies to help me survive.

    survival. the brain has a hard time distinguishing between real vs perceived threat. it responds the same for either. so, if the body is in a perceived state of threat (as could be indicated by a sustained ''low level anxiety'' -- read STRESS) it will be responding accordingly. hormone secretions. immune response. psychoneuroimmunology. bam...

    i find it so intriguing. and it's helped open me to some exploration. less denial. more honesty.

    self-acceptance.

    intention.

    start again...

  7. #716
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    note to myself...

    watch out for dogma...

    watch out for my own tendencies to get swallowed up in it...

    watch the feelings when it pulls...

  8. #717
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    day 2615...

    haha.

    that's a ridiculous number...of days...

    7 years worth of days...plus a few extras...

    new problems...new concerns. the old worries have burned away, and from the fertile ashes have sprouted a fresh supply of anxieties.

    i read the first few entries of my journal today. a me seven years younger. some say the body is born anew every seven years. that the sum of the body's cells replaces itself over the course of this cycle. maybe it's true. but i doubt the new cells are free from the imprint of memory...

    so today's worries are yesterday's worries are tomorrow's worries. they aren't replaced...or created. they seem to exist simultaneously...as one. integral to each other. interdependent.

    i've been breathing a lot more consciously of late. walking. sitting. typing.

    and meditating...semi-regularly. there are a few groups here. i enjoy the group environment.

    and H...she feels propelled towards sitting sometimes...especially if i suggest it.

    self-judgment. i'm like a retired person right now. a homeless, unemployed retired person...a choice, for the sake of exploring my most deeply rooted anxiety. i feel guilty about it. but i really shouldn't. this isn't MY guilt. it's something that i've inherited from a culture that doesn't know how to stop. a culture that endorses the addiction of work and productivity. a culture that feeds an insatiable compulsion for more. always more. this isn't merely about things...and stuff. MORE is an invasive species. MORE affects all of our systems. MORE defines our habits. MORE dictates our relationships. MORE puts us to sleep. MORE leaves us unsatisfied and depressed. MORE is the true mental health culprit. we're not bipolar, depressed, or narcissistic. we're suffocating in a culture of MORE. encoded within the disease of MORE is an implicit disregard for the natural abundance of life. today i have nourishment. today i have basic human goodness. today i have connection around me. i can't see it if i need/want/crave MORE.

    depression can't breathe when there's ''enough''. it thrives on the idea of MORE. more implies a comparison. more implies not enough.

    but MORE is never enough. if i need more in this moment...i will crave more in the next moment.

    more doesn't end when the itch is scratched.

    it's a reminder to myself. for gratitude. i have enough. every single day i have enough. there has never been a day in my life where i didn't have enough. i have -- in fact -- been spoiled by enough. a life of privilege. yes.

    i've been programmed to believe that i will always need more. and my surroundings are endorsing this way of life. it's why i wake up feeling guilty when i'm not participating the way i should be.

    i've discovered the reason i feel ambivalent about having children. i'd love to explore that journey. i even feel like i'd have a lot of valuable contributions as a parent.... kindness. compassion. budding emotional competence. tolerance. respect. determination. this culture though...this societal structure...i don't want it. i don't want to subscribe to it. i don't want to have children only to have them raised by a society that doesn't care for them. a society that values consumption and economical progress above all else. a society that castrates truth and pollutes our creative channels of expression. a society that endorses mental illness...but isn't equipped to guide them on the healing journey when this way of life becomes unbearable.

    more accountability from me. maybe then it'll be possible.

    a blip of clarity.

    i'll go back to work next week. it's been four months. i've rejected half a dozen job offers...and haven't had a place to live in as many months.

    the anxiety of ''stopping'' was much more evident than i'd imagined it'd be. there have been a lot of feelings of being without direction. and guilt. so much guilt! difficult to move through those feelings and savour some moments of downtime. to appreciate. to literally just BE. it's opened up a few doors for me. avenues for exploration. i seem to do well with purpose-driven tasks. i get a lot of enjoyment from tinkering. and...no amount of ''research'' can ever prepare me for the process of actually doing something. and, the more quickly i recognize that the more i'm able to find satisfaction without senseless anxiety. there are many things i can do. it's not a requirement to know how to do it before i do it. interesting to have had the time to nurture this little nugget of realization. good feedback on that from a few reliable sources too. people that have always been there that act as mirrors for my own tendencies. easy to miss how far i've come sometimes. i'm more ''ambitious'' than i give myself credit for. there's been some navigating through tendencies of paralysis...and blockages in the creative problem solving process. and...through that process has awakened a deeper well of confidence.

    of course...i slip back an forth between the little planes of awareness...

    that's okay...

    each day that i notice the runaway train of obsessive and distractive diatribe of NOT ENOUGH, i come a little closer to ENOUGH. the world can only tell me for so long that i don't have enough before i begin to question the source. disconnection has happened on so many levels. it's not apathy...it's preservation of my basic human spirit. adieu...

    stream of consciousness...blam!!

    grooving to some funky youtubes.


  9. #718
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I've always enjoyed the way you write.
    Good luck with new job. Back to civilization. . .

  10. #719
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    Originally Posted by reinventmyself
    I've always enjoyed the way you write.
    Good luck with new job. Back to civilization. . .
    Thanks for the feedback! :)

    I miss writing as an outlet. It used to be more of a thing for me....

    Civilization. Hmm. Dunno about that. But, I have shifted my focus a bit over the last few months, and I've got a much clearer idea about why I'm going back to work. Focus. Intent. A plan, you might call it. I've never had well-formulated goals for this aspect of my life. Always seemed like there was only one way. Work. Mortgage. Work. Maybe retire. Blah. Felt like a cog. It never felt good to me...on any level.

    There's a freedom in having realized another way. Gives new substance to a working life....

  11. #720
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    hmmmm...

    awareness. i dunno if i'm experiencing more anxiety in life...in general. or, perhaps i'm just noticing it more...and not fleeing it automatically. maybe it's not even anxiety. and maybe...just maybe...it's not actually a big deal. sweet jesus...it's not a problem?

    what a concept...

    little frustrations. feelings of stuck-ness at times. H...she's stuck in life (or in a way that feels all-encompassing at time...because it's infiltrated some of the freedoms she -- and i -- are accustomed to in this life. freedom to make choices for oneself. and much of it isn't her choice at the moment. there's someone else out there who gets to cause grief. regardless of his reasons...it's tricky business. so much space for acceptance...surrender. and it's probably not going to play out as poorly as either of us may choose to assume; although, it could also turn out worse.

    seems though, when one opportunity is missed...another presents itself. we're never destitute for one missed opportunity in life.

    i find myself considering the possibility of letting go of some very old ideas of what happiness means for me...because on a different level, there is just so much awesomeness. the human foundation.

    so, there's an absence of freedom. and, as difficult as that is for her, it's also difficult for me. there's a feeling of needing to allow myself a degree of surrender there. just let it be what it is. the ideal of perfection doesn't exist. for someone who has gradually become accustomed to doing things on his own terms, acknowledging that isn't always easy. but the package, as it is, is lovely combination of the stuff i find most important in others. there's an abundance of challenge also...but i feel drawn to the possibility of exploring those challenges for the sake of all the rest.

    tough to swallow for an idealist. :-k


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